|Leaf us alone, we’re cleaning the yard.|
Hang onto your hats, folks. This is the part where the story gets complicated. If you’ve been following along since the beginning of the story, you might think it was already not so simple. A few weeks ago I would’ve agreed with you. But once we told everyone we were moving, the pace of this roller coaster ride took off. Watch out for that loop-the-loop.
When Hubby told his mom that we had to move, she suggested we look into purchasing a house. She said that though we haven’t paid off all of our student loans, our credit score was probably still good. In the long run, purchasing a house is almost always going to be more cost effecting than renting. Not to mention, talking to the bank about it costs nothing but a little time. Time isn’t exactly a luxury we have since our move-out date is set. However, six weeks is just enough, assuming everything goes perfectly.
You know the old saying about what happens when you assume. Nothing ever really goes perfectly in life and this is even more true when you have a deadline for it to do so. The bank said that although our credit score was indeed good, our debt-to-income ratio wasn’t quite balanced enough for a loan. Again, time was our enemy. Our income was based on last year’s tax return and this year’s return could be just enough different to make the difference.
Now I’m pretty efficient when it comes to filing our taxes. In fact, although I may be the only person, I actually enjoy it. Still, it is January and I’m pretty sure nobody could have their taxes done at this point. I’m still waiting on various obscurely-numbered forms from several places. What are the odds that everything will arrive and I can file our taxes and we qualify for a loan and we can find a house and buy it in 30 days?
I can’t calculate those odds, but I can estimate that they are significantly against us. We decided not to gamble and began looking for rentals again.
Fueled by anxiety, I’m pretty sure I researched every property available for rent in the entire city, plus several that weren’t available. After a week of hunting, I was starting to feel like Goldilocks.
Finally, we were down to the last house. Literally. If this didn’t fit us, I was imagining a scenario where we moved in with my in-laws.
First, I looked at a few photos of the house online. It didn’t look bad, but I didn’t have much to go on. There were only two bedrooms and one bath, but the square footage was larger than what we are renting now. There was little yard, but it did have a garage. Still, I didn’t want to get my hopes up. We scheduled to meet the landlord and see the house that evening.
It was dark when we pulled up in front of the house, which had recently been converted to a duplex. The kids squirmed anxiously as we waited for the landlord to arrive. Finally he did and we hopped out of the van. As we met up on the front lawn, Lil’ Wheezy cheered and ran to the boy who had arrived with him. Not only did they know each other, they are in the same class this year!
We all laughed about the surprise, then headed inside to look around. The first room was huge. I don’t have a tape measure large enough to measure it, but the multipurpose room could comfortably serve as living room, office and dining room. The kitchen and bath were small, but nice enough. There was a separate pantry. Then there were two bedrooms. One was small, the other even smaller. Hubby took a peek out at the garage, which could hold two cars. Or one woodcarving shop and all the things we were currently cramming into our single-car garage.
It seemed this house would make a fair compromise. Still we had to think on it overnight. There was a lot to consider. When we got home, we all sat down to talk about what we each though. Hubby and I wanted the kids to be included in this decision as much as possible. The kids actually really liked it.
“You guys noticed there were only two bedrooms, right?”
Immediately they changed their minds. If they shared that small room, surely they would have to give up everything! I pointed out that the enormous living room would have plenty of room for their computers and book, and probably some of their toys too. Hubby suggested we get a trundle bed, or possibly a bunkbed to leave more floor space.
“But what about sleepovers?” asked Sniffles.
“First, you have never had a sleepover before. Second, you would probably want to camp out in sleeping bags in front of the tv anyway.”
“But what about a puppy?” asked Lil’ Wheezy.
“We aren’t getting a puppy right now, no matter where we live.”
Suddenly, the kids were back to liking the house. The last question then, was did Hubby and I? Sure, it wasn’t our dream home. It would be a lot different from where we live now. Ultimately, we decided that the only real problem was that it wasn’t this house. And that was a problem that every house would have.
I was unloading the dishwasher later when a thought occurred to me. Hubby was outside talking with the neighbor and I dashed out to ask him.
“Does our new house have a dishwasher??”